While today, Coca-Cola or Coke, as it's commonly referred, is America's favorite soda, it was originally created for a very different purpose. Coca-Cola was invented on May 8th, 1886 by American Civil War veteran turned pharmacist John Pemberton. Initially, its two main ingredients were coca leaves (which is where cocaine comes from) and kola nuts (which packed plenty of caffeine). It was invented as a medical beverage designed to cure many ailments, including morphine addiction, indigestion, nerve disorders, headaches and my personal favorite, impotence.
By the beginning of the 20th century, Coca-Cola was pressured by the public to remove cocaine from their recipe, however, it wasn't until 1929 that scientists removed the psychoactive elements from coca-leaf extract, making Coca-Cola fully cocaine-free.
Advertising and marketing helped Coca-Cola to grow in popularity throughout the next several decades, making it the go to beverage for the baby boomer generation. Past spokespeople for Coca-Cola have run the gamut of celebrity, including Santa Claus, Selena and Bill Cosby. Coca-Cola would eventually expand its brand to include a variety of spin-off soft drinks, including favorites like Diet Coke and Coke Zero, as well as limited run beverages like Golden Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Orange and Coca-Cola Cinnamon.
In honor of the incredible legacy of Coca-Cola and it's continued refreshing taste, we're celebrating National Have a Coke Day with some of our favorite tattoos inspired by the legendary soft drink. And we don't blame you if after finishing this article, you've worked up a thirst for this celebrated soft drink.